Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Miraculous Gift of Casual Intimacy


I had a long week. And today I am writing, catching up on a bit of work from my “other” job, waiting for a call from my intellectual property lawyer, and spending time with Ahmed.

Yes, I can do all of those things at once.

Sometimes when I read romance novels I wonder what kind of relationships the authors have. Good writers—REALLY good—come off the page in a way that convinces me they are loved, and are loving. It’s a bit like reading something with families woven tightly through the plot, and recognizing something an only child, or a person with a small family, has crafted. You simply can’t write THE WALTONS if you were brought up without a mess of siblings. That’s a dynamic you can’t invent. It has to be in you.

When I read a story, or see a film, that is all passion and wild emotions, I often think to myself, how many divorces has the poor slob who scribbled this thing into being been through? Passion is the frosting. Where’s the cupcake?

I am so grateful to have passion in my life. No, really… as a plus size woman who has survived horrible pain in the pursuit of love—both physical and emotional—to feel desired and return that powerful swell and crash with another person? For someone like me that’s more than just indulging in the dramatic edge of love. For me, that’s the ultimate expression of trust. It’s the knife’s edge. It’s the cliff diver poised above the sea. It’s the fall, the rush, the splash, the euphoria of risking everything. I have never been capable of giving myself too freely. When I was young, this felt like a curse. To fear exposure so deeply seemed to limit me in ways lithe, sleek, beautiful girls could never understand.

I’m older now, with even more scars, wrinkles, and marks. In my age I have come to understand that my insecurity was a gift. It was the relationship-equivalent of fight-or-flight. My discomfort was chain-mail. Those earliest years, when I had a little bit to strut, took me to dark places, laid me bare on dark altars, and left me damaged. But the scars wove together, forced modesty and caution upon me, and many swords have broken trying to pierce this shroud of protection. My grandmother used to call me “fey.” I wonder if this is elven-wrought.

Why am I thinking about this today, on my day of peace and indulgence? I find, as I grow older and wiser, and (thank the angels!) more loved, my perspective grows nearly crystal-clear in matters of the heart and hearth. Very recently I was at a social get-together and heard two women of my own age—both gorgeous creatures and single—speak with longing about taking their current beaus off for weekends of wild sex and chocolate dipped strawberries… full body massages and naughty movies… long walks and…

Good GAWD—stop trying so hard! That’s for the beginning, not the END. You cram all that into one weekend that poor son-of-a-bitch is going to run like hell.

Or maybe not… but I know I’d be sick and tired of all that effort by, say, mid-morning, day two.

What I crave, what sustains me, what draws me from this hard-won armor in star-dazzled wonder and sweetness are days like today. We have been apart for several days that were long and arduous for both of us. Ahmed did not meet me at the brownstone door with a rose between his teeth. He met me with firm, warm arms and the smell of the grapefruit balm he always wears after shaving. He met me with a rough, dark voice in my ear and a query—how was I? He met me with enough passion and fierceness to set fire to the sleek kittens prancing and preening down Newbury Street in Dolce and Gabanna. The details are for us, but I’m sure you can guess.

We don’t need marathons of scented oil and the Illustrated Kama Sutra with Popup Graphs. Thanks… we get it right the first time… and the second. And the rest is bliss, my friends.

The frosting has been licked away and was glorious perfection. The best of this confection is NOW. Me, waiting for an email to come back, pecking out this blog post, feeling languorously happy, listening to my beautiful man whistle while he cooks me dinner. I am perfectly happy to be HERE, propped on the couch with my laptop while we play role-reversal. But the miracle of this casual intimacy—the absolute marvel of these moments, drifting off into luscious memory with the remains of the day—is that they are EASY. They are effortless, simple, drowned in a lifetime of trust and complete abandon. They require nothing but the indulgence of freeing the beast from its cage and listening to it purr.

I once heard Ahmed say that he did not “fall” for me: he crashed. It made me smile, and still does. I did not “fall” for him, either. I resisted for a very long time, but the time did come, in the end. The sweetest of all choices, that. I threw back my head, shed this bright armor, and launched myself into him.

THAT is the miracle of true intimacy… that it BECOMES so casual and light. Born of a choice to be fearless, it sheds the coils of hesitancy and sends us spiraling with new wings.

Gotta go… dinner’s ready. :)

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